The Andy Griffith Show Episode Review: “Opie and the Carnival”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 5 television episode that first aired in April 1965.

Synopsis: After winning a prize at a shooting gallery carnival game, Opie (Ron Howard) decides to go back and win a razor as a birthday gift for Andy (Andy Griffith). However, the men running the shooting gallery are crooked and, instead of winning the razor, he ends up losing all his money. Unable to make an arrest without evidence, Andy, instead, comes up with a plan to turn things around on the crooks.


My family and I attended a local carnival a couple weeks ago and, while playing some of the games, I ended up remembering this particular television episode, despite the fact I hadn’t seen it in a long while. So, when I had an opportunity to watch it last night, I just had to see it again.

Even though this episode, like many from the series, is a bit predictable, it is still one I do enjoy watching. This is because, while Andy never loses his good nature, you get a glimpse at just how far he’ll go when someone does something to his son. And, that’s coming from someone who hasn’t been afraid to question his parenting skills when watching other episodes.

All Andy had to do when he found his evidence was arrest the crooks or run them out of town. Instead, he took things much further than that and pretty much just ran them out of business before blackmailing them into letting Opie have another chance at winning the razor (and the fact he let Opie try to win it fair and square rather than just force them to give him an advantage was a nice touch). That, in many ways, was actually a little crueler than you would expect from the Sheriff of Mayberry.

Of course, considering I did just go to a carnival myself, I also couldn’t help but get a bit of a kick out of the prices. I ended up laughing a bit when I heard it was 25 cents for a chance to win and that was only because they were forced to raise their prices. Considering the games our kids played were $3 or more and the prizes weren’t anywhere near as good, it was definitely something I found note-worthy, along with Opie being out more than 3 months-worth of allowance and only spending a little over $3. I wish we could have said the same after our carnival trip.

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Final Opinion

This is a great episode that really sticks with you if you see it. I know I enjoyed watching it again last night and would definitely watch it again in the future.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 10/12/2018, StevenHelmer
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StevenHelmer on 09/03/2015

Sadly, this was right around the time Don Knotts left the series and it never was quite the same after that.

happynutritionist on 09/02/2015

I remember this episode, I've seen all of these when young and recently we have enjoyed watching some of the shows we used to watch as children. Wish shows were as mostly-innocent now as they used to be. Nice review!

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